In the midst of President Donald Trump’s border wall standoff with Congress, a percipient tweet by Senator Lindsey Graham is worth noting:
“When it comes to radical Islam, a border wall is our last line of defense—not our first,” Graham (R-South Carolina) wrote.
When it comes to radical Islam, a border wall is our last line of defense — not our first.
Our first line of defense is a forward deployed presence working with partners to disrupt enemy operations directed at our allies and homeland.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) December 27, 2018
Although dismissed by anti-wall activists, the threat from countries south of the United States is particularly relevant from the terror group Hezbollah, which is actively building cells and increasing its presence in South and Central America.
Hezbollah has infiltrated a number of these countries, where it works with drug cartels to fund its worldwide terror operations.
“There is an exchange of tactics and procedures with narco terrorists,” said former U.S. special forces’ officer Joseph Callahan at a Congressional field hearing in Florida earlier this year, adding that Hezbollah works closely with the Los Zetas and Sinaloa cartels.
More recently, authorities in Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay arrested Hezbollah agents caught with caches of weapons and explosives and involved in money laundering and drug trafficking.
Last October, then-attorney general Jeff Sessions created a task force to specifically zero in on Hezbollah after declaring the designated terror organization one of the top five transnational threats to the U.S.
Hezbollah was named as the world’s richest terror organization by Forbes. The transnational group is an Iranian proxy and has an estimated annual income of $1.1 billion.
In June of 2017, two Hezbollah terrorists were arrested in the U.S. for planning domestic attacks. One had scouted potential targets in New York City, including JFK International Airport.
Referring to Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, Graham continued the tweet, saying, “Our first line of defense is a forward-deployed presence working with partners to disrupt enemy operations directed at our allies and homeland.”
Although Graham is opposed to the pullout, after a meeting with Trump, he said, “I feel pretty good about where we’re headed” in Syria, suggesting that the pullout would not be so quick.
Meanwhile, you, our readers, voiced your opinions about the pullout. After posting our podcast titled Trump’s Middle East Pullout: Chaos or Crucial, here are some of the comments we received:
I applaud President Trump for his insight and foresight — Insight as to the methods used by [Islamists] and their fifth column method of victory. I applaud President Trump for his foresight for recognizing that ‘bleeding a nation’ militarily and financially is the method used by [Islamists] — battle fatigue in ranks and on the home front and destroying the targeted nation’s financial capabilities to defend itself.
I agree with President Donald Trump’s decision to pullout troops from Syria. The same people who want to keep troops in Syria probably haven’t served in the U.S. military themselves. I believe the 2,000 families of the U.S. troops in Syria also agree with the President’s decision. We need our soldiers on the southern border with Mexico, not in harm’s way in Syria, a people who have deserted their country by the thousands to go live in Europe.
I am a Gold Star mother. The loss of my son, Commander Waid Ramsey, in Afghanistan was unfathomable. But as a family we felt his work and deployment was necessary to eliminate terrorists … I am sick to death of hearing bad news and controversy over all this foreign policy and aid and the costs. America pays for our sons and daughters to become heroes by dying in a foreign country. Bring them home to protect the tax-paying citizens and defend our schools, churches, government buildings, natural resources and borders. The U.S. has enough oil and gas reserves underground to carry us through centuries. Why buy and import it from nations that are hostile to our way of life?